European Scrutiny Committee

No. 4
(Session 2002-03)


On Wednesday 15 January 2003 at 9.40 am, the European Scrutiny Committee will be taking oral evidence from Lord Filkin, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office. The evidence will be in Committee Room 15.

Part of the evidence will relate to the EU's proposed new legislation on racism and xenophobia.  which is intended to 'approximate' the laws of Members States.  The proposed legislation covers public incitement to discrimination, violence or hatred in respect of certain types or person or groups of person, the public 'condoning' of genocide and the public denial or 'gross trivialisation' of the Holocaust.  The evidence will also cover the relationship between these offences and the European Arrest Warrant.

The other part of the evidence will relate to the draft agreement between Europol and the USA on the exchange of personal data.  The Committee is concerned about the Minister's expressed intention to agree to the proposal before the completion of parliamentary scrutiny, and about the relationship between such personal data and Europol's mandate.

For further information telephone 020 7219 5561.

9 January 2003

Notes for Editors

The main purpose of the European Scrutiny Committee is to report to the House on the legal and political importance of each EU document and to determine which EU documents are debated. Such debates take place either in a European Standing Committee or on the Floor of the House. The Committee normally reports weekly on a range of documents when the House is sitting.  The Committee also monitors business in the Council of Ministers, especially the activities of UK Ministers in the Council, and produces occasional reports on wider EU developments.

The Scrutiny Reserve Resolution, passed by the House, is crucial to the Committee's work.  Under that Resolution Ministers are constrained from agreeing to EU legislative or other proposals until parliamentary scrutiny is completed.  There are certain circumstances in which agreement is nevertheless permitted, but in such cases the European Scrutiny Committee or the House must be informed as soon as possible.

The Committee has 16 Members, as follows:

Jimmy Hood MP (Chairman) - Labour - Clydesdale
Colin Breed MP - Lib Dem - Cornwall South East
Roger Casale MP - Labour - Wimbledon
William Cash MP - Conservative - Stone
Michael Connarty MP - Labour - Falkirk East
Tony Cunningham MP - Labour - Workington
Wayne David MP - Labour - Caerphilly
Terry Davis MP - Labour - Birmingham Hodge Hill
Jim Dobbin MP - Labour/Co-op - Heywood & Middleton
Mark Hendrick MP - Labour - Preston
Jim Marshall MP - Labour - Leicester South
Anne McIntosh MP - Conservative - Vale of York
Angus Robertson MP - SNP - Moray
Anthony Steen MP - Conservative - Totnes
Bill Tynan MP - Labour - Hamilton South
Angela Watkinson MP - Conservative - Upminster

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